(Ocimum basilicum var. 'Cinnamon')
Cinnamon Basil is an annual herb that is native to India and Asia but can be commonly found growing in gardens throughout the United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 18-30” and features dark purple stems, narrow, dark green, slightly serrated leaves, and small pink flowers. This plant can be grown in a container, attracts bees and butterflies, is rabbit safe, repels flies, mosquitoes, and thrips, is resistant to deer, is used to make essential oils, liquid plant food, and mosquito repellent, self sows, is both edible and medicinal, and is great as a cut flower!
Harvest & Storage
Nutrition & Health Benefits
Native to: Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Philippines, Queensland, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Western Australia.
Introduced into: Angola, Bahamas, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil Southeast, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Cape Verde, Cayman Is., Central African Repu, Chad, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Is., Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Aegean Is., Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Gilbert Is., Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Illinois, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Laccadive Is., Leeward Is., Liberia, Line Is., Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Mongolia, Mozambique, New Caledonia, New York, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Panamá, Primorye, Puerto Rico, Romania, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Society Is., South Australia, South European Russi, Sudan, Tanzania, Tokelau-Manihiki, Tonga, Trinidad-Tobago, Uganda, Ukraine, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Wallis-Futuna Is., Windward Is., Xinjiang, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe.
Ease of Growing: Easy
Grown as: Annual
Maturity (Blooms): June to frost
Hardiness: Very Tender. Basil is not at all hardy and can't stand any frost.
Crops: Spring Transplant, Summer
Growing Season: Short, Long
Growing Conditions: Warm, Hot. Basil is very unhappy if it isn't warm, so in cooler areas it should be in the warmest spot in the garden. If this still isn't warm enough then grow it under cloches. It will tolerate some shade when growing in hot climates, but does better in full sun.
Outdoor Growing Temp: 60°F - 90°F
Min Outdoor Soil Temp: 70°F. Basil needs warm (75ºF - 85ºF) soil.
Start Indoors: Yes
Start Outdoors: Yes
Light: Sun: min. 6 hours daily (Warm, Hot). Full sun.
Water: Moderate. Basil likes evenly moist soil.
Feeder: Light. Low nitrogen. Low potassium. Low phosphorous. Basil isn't a very hungry plant, but for maximum leaf production it should be given fertile soil.
Suitability: High heat
Small Gardens?: Yes
Containers?: Yes. Basil does well in containers as small as a one gallon plant pot, and is great to grow on the kitchen windowsill (especially in cool climates). Transplant one seedling per 6" pot or 3 seedlings per 12" pot. Because basil is a heat-loving plant, it is crucial to place the container in an area with access to at least 4 hours of sunlight per day. Basil requires temperatures of 75 degrees F or higher in order to thrive, so it's not the best option for Winter growing (unless you keep your house well-heated.) Use well-drained, nutrient-rich potting soil and keep the soil moist but not overly wet.
Attracts Beneficial Insects?: Yes
Plant Diameter: 6-12"
Sow Depth: ¼”
Produces: dark purple stems, narrow, dark green, slightly serrated leaves, and small pink flowers.
USDA Grow Zones: 3-9
Garden Uses: As a seasoning herb in many vegetable and meat dishes, or as a key ingredient of pesto and other condiments.
Gardeners with short growing seasons may want to start their seeds indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost date, sowing them thinly in flats and providing heat to speed germination.
To direct sow, plant the seeds 1/4" deep in rich soil and full sun, thinning to 15-18" apart when the seedlings develop.
Basil also grows well indoors or as a container plant.
Water Needs: Moderate. Basil likes evenly moist soil.
Fertilizer Needs: Light. Low nitrogen. Low potassium. Low phosphorous. Basil isn't a very hungry plant, but for maximum leaf production it should be given fertile soil.
Watering, regularly: Water, 0.5 inch(es), regularly, 2 times a week. Watering also depends on your local weather; don't water if it's raining, or water more frequently if it's dry. Just be sure to keep soil moist but never soggy for the best crop. The best way to know how much moisture is in your soil is to feel 2" below the soil line. If it's dry, water. Dry soil may encourage the plants to bolt.
Side Dressing, regularly: Compost tea, 5 gallon(s) per 100 sq. ft., regularly, every 3 weeks
If you are repeatedly harvesting from the same plants, you should give them a liquid feed of compost tea, liquid kelp or fish emulsion), every three weeks. Apply this as a soil drench, rather than as a foliar feed, as you don't want to spray the leaves and then eat them. Don't harvest within 2 weeks of feeding.
Weeding, after sowing: after sowing, 1 time a week. Be sure to keep the young plants free of weeds.
Pruning, when 6" tall: when 6" tall, 1 time. The growing tips should be pinched out when the plants are 6˝ to 8˝ tall (this is actually the first harvest). This causes them to send up two growing tips, making the plants bushier and larger.
Pruning, at flowering: at flowering, 2 times a week. Basil stops producing leaves once the flower starts. Continually pinching the flowers off can prolong the harvest of the leaves.
Storage Req: Freezer
Storage Temp: 32°F
Storage Length: 1-360 days
It is possible to store the fresh leaves by packing them in a jar and covering with olive oil.
Storage Req: Canning
Storage Temp: °F
Storage Length: 1-180 days
The easiest way to store Basil is to dry it in a warm shady place. This alters its flavor considerably, but it is still very good. It must be dried quickly though; if it takes too long it will deteriorate and turn black. Store in an airtight container in the pantry or on the spice rack.
Storage Req: Dry, Drying, Warm
Storage Temp: °F
Storage Length: 1-360 days
Basil has thin leaves and wilts quickly once cut. It will keep for a few days in a plastic bag in the fridge. You can also extend its life by keeping it in water like cut flowers (still store in fridge).
Storage Req: Refrigerator
Storage Temp: 35-40°F
Storage Length: 1-5 days
Seed Viability in Years: 5-8 years
Germination Percentage: 75%
Culinary Use: Purple basil can be used in place for it's green counterpart. It can be used to flavor tomatoes, eggs, pizza, pasta, or try a new spin on an old favorite with basil lemonade! Due to their deep color, these plants also make great garnishes.
Enemies: Do not plant near rue or sage.
To attract Tachinid Flies to your garden try growing: Carrots, Dill, Coriander, Lacy Phacelia, and Buckwheat.
Spiders: Prey on a wide range including Bed Bugs, Aphids, Roaches, Grasshoppers, Cabbage Looper, and Fruit Flies.
To attract Spiders to your garden you will need to grow: tall plants for weaving Spiders, mulch for predatory Spiders.
Praying Mantis: Preys on a wide range including Caterpillars, Moths, Beetles, and Crickets.
To attract Praying Mantis to your garden you will need to grow: tall grasses and shrubs, Cosmos, Marigolds, and Dills.
Spined Soldier Bugs: Prey on larvae of Mexican Bean Beetle, European Corn Borer, Diamondback Moth, Corn Earworm, Beet Armyworm, Fall Armyworm, Cabbage Looper, imported Cabbageworm, Colorado Potato Beetle, Velvetbean Caterpillar, and Flea Beetles.
To attract Spined Soldier Bugs to your garden try growing: Alfalfa, Apples, Asparagus, Beans, Celery, Cotton, Crucifers, Cucurbits, Eggplant, Onions, Potatoes, Soybeans, Sweet Corn and Tomatoes.
Health Benefits of Basil Seeds
Skin Care: With such an impressive concentration of antioxidants and flavonoids, basil seeds are able to improve the health of the skin and stimulate the growth of new cells. The antioxidants are able to counter the effects of free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress and eventually lead to cellular mutation, resulting in wrinkles, age spots, and blemishes. Regular use of these seeds can reduce the appearance of those marks, as well as scars and act as an anti-aging substance.
Hair Care: With a significant level of iron and various antioxidants, as well as vitamin K, basil seeds can stimulate the production of hair and prevent premature hair loss. The iron is essential for circulation to drive blood to the scalp and is also required for the production of strong hair from the follicles. The antioxidants in these seeds will help prevent inflammation and oxidative stress on the scalp, which can often lead to hair loss.
Weight Loss: Basil seeds are extremely high in fiber, which works to bulk up the stool and make you feel full to prevent overeating and snacking between meals. Furthermore, when these seeds are digested, they may swell to 20 times their original size, physically filling you up and satisfying your appetite, making it much easier to avoid those calorie-heavy snacks.
Lower Cholesterol Levels: Studies have shown that sweet basil seeds are directly associated with a decrease in LDL or bad cholesterol levels, which means a lower risk of atherosclerosis and plaque deposition in the arteries and blood vessels. This will also reduce strain on the heart and reduce your chances of heart attack and stroke.
Control Blood Pressure: Research has found that the level of potassium in basil seeds is enough to directly impact blood pressure. This hypotensive effect is because potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it can relax the tension in the arteries and blood vessels, thus reducing strain on the cardiovascular system.
Boost Bone Health: With a diverse range of minerals in basil seeds, including iron, potassium, copper, calcium, manganese, and magnesium, eating these seeds on a regular basis will help improve bone mineral density. This will lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, keeping you feeling young and strong as you age.
Prevent Diseases: There is a notable amount of vitamin A and other antioxidants in basil seeds, which can help reduce oxidative stress and chronic inflammation around the body. This will lower the pressure on your immune system, and also prevent a number of different pathogenic infections and medical conditions. Chronic disease is also caused by an excess of free radicals in the body, which is countered by dietary supplementation with sabja seeds.
Control Blood Sugar: A number of studies have shown that the active ingredients, such as dietary fiber, found in basil seeds are able to control blood sugar levels. For people suffering from type 2 diabetes, this is a very important benefit of these seeds, as the inability to control insulin and glucose levels is a potentially deadly part of that condition. A glass of water with basil seeds in the morning can improve your insulin sensitivity throughout the day.
Cooling Effects: In many Asian countries, basil seeds are famed for their cooling effects on the body, as they can help retain the cold temperatures of beverages and essentially soothe the stomach. While this is a vague and somewhat arbitrary health benefit, these seeds are popularly consumed by people suffering from fevers and other inflammatory conditions, where this cooling effect seems most pronounced.
Relieve Stress: If your mind is racing and your stress levels continue to climb, a glass of water filled with basil seeds might be a quick and simple solution to your anxiety. Research has found that regular consumption of basil seeds can help reduce episodes of depression, boost your mood, and reduce levels of stress hormones in the body.
Improve Vision: Given these seeds’ notable amount of vitamin A, they are often recommended for people with failing vision or those with high levels of oxidative stress. Vitamin A acts as a powerful antioxidant in the retina, preventing the development of cataracts and slowing down the advent of macular degeneration.
Relieve Pain: When it comes to conditions like arthritis, gout, headaches, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), basil seeds are known to reduce the severity of those episodes and provide pain relief rather quickly. By preventing the release of pro-inflammatory compounds and cytokines, the active ingredients in these seeds take an active role in many common health conditions.
Basil Seeds Side Effects:
These seeds can deliver a significant number of health benefits, but that comes along with a few side effects, such as the choking hazard they pose, as well as potential hormone fluctuations.
Pregnant Women: One of the side effects of basil seeds is their potential impact on hormone levels in the body, namely estrogen. This can be dangerous for pregnant women, as it can stimulate menstruation and may result in complications for the baby.
Thyroid Issues: Those who suffer from thyroid imbalances or other hormonal issues should not use these seeds before speaking with their doctor.
Choking Hazard: Due to the effect that water and liquids have on these seeds, an improper ratio of liquid to seeds can result in a large gelatinous clump that can potentially be difficult to swallow. For this reason, these seeds are not recommended for anyone with swallowing difficulties, young children or the elderly.
Health Benefits of Basil Essential Oil
The leaves and seeds of the basil plant are the important medicinal parts of this herb, which is regularly used in cuisines and recipes all over the world. Basil essential oil is popular in Europe, Central Asia, India and Southeast Asia. The oil is extensively used for culinary purposes in the Mediterranean region and still forms the active ingredient of many Italian recipes such as pesto. It is also used when making pasta and salads.
Basil was widely used in ancient times in places like India for various medicinal purposes (Ayurvedic medicine). The herb was used to treat diarrhea, cough, mucous discharges, constipation, indigestion, and certain skin diseases.
Cosmetic Applications: Basil essential oil is used topically and massaged into the skin. It enhances the luster of dull-looking skin and hair. As a result, it is extensively used in many skin care supplements that claim to improve the tone of your skin. It is also commonly used to treat the symptoms of acne and other skin infections.
Digestion: Basil essential oil is also used as a digestive tonic. Since basil oil has carminative properties, it is used for treating indigestion, constipation, stomach cramps and flatulence. It provides immediate relief from the gas in your stomach and intestines. It also has colic qualities and is therefore used to alleviate bowel pain.
Illness: Basil essential oil is effective in providing relief from colds, influenza and associated fevers. Due to its antispasmodic nature, it is frequently used to treat symptoms of whooping cough.
Respiratory: Along with its function in relieving coughs, it can also be used to treat asthma, bronchitis, and sinus infections.
Infections: Basil oil is good for treating a variety of infections such as cuts, wounds, skin infections, and bladder infections due to its antibacterial properties. It is also good for viral infections that attack the body and can enter the body through other wounds.
Stress Disorders: This essential oil has a refreshing effect when smelled or consumed, so it is used for treating nervous tension, mental fatigue, melancholy, migraines and depression. Due to the calming nature of basil essential oil, it is widely used in aromatherapy. Regularly using this essential oil provides mental strength and clarity.
Blood Circulation: It improves blood circulation and helps to increase and optimized various metabolic functions of the body.
Pain Relief: Basil essential oil is an analgesic and provides relief from pain. That is why this essential oil is often used in the treatment of arthritis, wounds, injuries, burns, bruises, scars, sports injuries, surgical recovery, sprains, and headaches.
Eye Health: It is ophthalmic and can quickly relieve bloodshot eyes.
Vomiting and Nausea: It can be used to prevent vomiting, particularly when the source of the nausea is motion sickness, but also from many other causes.
Itching: Basil essential oil is also a good treatment for itching from bites and stings from honey bees, insects and even snakes.
Word of Caution: Basil essential oil and basil in any other form should be avoided by pregnant, breastfeeding, or nursing women. On the other hand, some people suggest that it increases milk flow, but more research needs to be done.
Asparagus: Mary Washington (Heirloom) (Asparagus officinalis)
Beans: Black Turtle (Heirloom) (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Beans: Blue Lake Bush #274 (Heirloom) (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Beans: Contender Bush (Heirloom) (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Beans: Gold Rush Yellow Wax (Heirloom) (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Beans: Kentucky Wonder Pole (Heirloom) (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Beans: Lazy Housewife Pole (Heirloom) (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Beans: Pinto (Heirloom) (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Beans: Red Yard Long (Heirloom) (Vigna unguiculata sesquipedalis)
Bean: Royalty Purple Pod Green (Heirloom) (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Broccoli: Green Sprouting Calabrese (Organic) (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
Broccoli: Purple Sprouting (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
Broccoli: Romanesco (Organic) (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis)
Broccoli: Waltham 29 (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
Brussels Sprout: Long Island Improved (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera)
Cabbage, Chinese: Pak Choi (Heirloom) (Brassica rapa var. chinensis)
Cabbage, Chinese: Tatsoi (Heirloom) (Brassica rapa ssp. Narinosa )
Carrots: Chantenay Red Cored (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Carrots: Cosmic Purple (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Carrots: Danvers (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Carrots: Lunar White (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Lunar White Carrots are an annual vegetable that were introduced into the United States from Europe. This pigment free variety was grown in Europe in the 16th century and was used to feed cattle as well as people. Lunar White Carrots grow to the size of 6-12” long and are nearly coreless. They have a crisp texture and a mild and delicious taste. Matures in 60-65 days.
Carrots: Rainbow Blend (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Carrots: Scarlet Nantes (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Carrots: Tendersweet (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Cauliflower: Snowball Y Improved (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis)
Celery: Tendercrisp (Heirloom) (Apium graveolens var. dulce)
Celery: Utah Tall 52/70 (Heirloom) (Apium graveolens var. dulce)
Collards: Vates (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)
(Coriandrum sativum var. ‘Leisure')
Leisure Coriander is a warm weather annual herb that is native to the western Mediterranean and southern Europe but can be found growing throughout meadows and fields in the coastline and border states of the U.S. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 24-36” and features fern-like, finely-divided upper leaves, lobed lower leaves that resemble Italian Parsley, and 2” compound umbels that have white to pale lavender flower blooms. This plant can be grown in a container, attracts bees, butterflies, hoverflies, lacewings, ladybugs, predatory wasps, and tachinid flies, repels aphids and spider mites, is horse and rabbit safe, is used to flavor perfume and soap, tolerates light frost, is used to make fungicides, and is both edible and medicinal!
(Cosmos sulphureus var. ‘Bright Lights’)
Bright Lights Cosmos Mix is an annual warm-weather flower is that is native to Mexico, but can commonly be found growing in fallow fields, and along roadsides and railroads throughout the southern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 1-3' and features narrowly divided, slightly hairy green foliage and 2-3” yellow, orange, or red semi-double flowers with wide, scallop-edged petals and yellow centers. This plant attracts bees, birds, butterflies, ladybugs, pollinating moths, and predatory wasps, tolerates drought, self sows, and is great as a cut flower!
(Cosmos bipinnatus var. ‘Candy Stripe’)
Candy Stripe Cosmos is an annual warm-weather flower is that is native to Mexico, but can commonly be found growing throughout the southern and northeastern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 3-6' and features finely divided, feathery green foliage and 2-3” flowers with yellow centers and wide, scallop-edged white petals edged with dark pink. This plant attracts bees, birds, butterflies, ladybugs, pollinating moths, and predatory wasps, tolerates drought, self sows, and is great as a cut flower!
(Cosmos bipinnatus var. ‘Radiance’)
(Anethum graveolens var. ‘Dukat')
Dukat Dill is an annual herb that is native to the Mediterranean and Asia but can be commonly found growing throughout the Midwest, northeastern, and west coast of the Untied States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 3-5' and features stiff hollow stems, sweet scented, bluish green, feathery foliage and compound 10” umbrella-shaped umbels that are topped by yellow aromatic flowers. This plant can be grown in a container, attracts bees, butterflies, hoverflies, lacewings, ladybugs, predatory wasps, and tachinid flies, repels aphids, spider mites, and squash bugs, is rabbit safe, tolerates deer, its leaves are used as an insect repellent, tolerates drought and light frost, is used to flavor soaps, is used to make insecticides, is both edible and medicinal, and self sows!
(Phacelia tanacetifolia var. ‘Lacy’)
(Tagetes Erecta var. ‘Kilimanjaro White’)
Only a few left!
Kilimanjaro White Marigold is an annual flower that is native to Mexico but can be commonly found growing throughout the central and eastern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 18” and features divided green foliage and 2-4” white/light yellow flower blooms. This plant can be grown in a container, attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and ladybugs, resistant to deer, repels bean beetles, cabbage loopers, and nematodes, is both edible and medicinal, is used to make dye and insecticides, and can be used as a trap crop for aphids.
(Tagetes erecta var. ‘Naughty Marietta’)
(Tagetes erecta var. ‘Spark Mix’)
Oregano: Greek (Origanum vulgare hirtum)
Oregano: Italian (Origanum vulgare)
Italian Oregano is a very popular "pizza herb" widely used in Italian, Greek and Mexican cooking. Leaves can be used fresh or dried and add warm spicy flavor to your favorite recipes! Bright blue-green plants grow 6" tall and up to 24" in diameter. Leaves can be harvested in 85 to 95 days (before flowers appear). Perennial. Drought tolerant.
(Petunia integrifolia var. ‘Shanin' Wild’)
Shanin Wild Petunia is a sprawling tender perennial flower that is native to South America but can be found growing in the Midwest and northeastern United States as an annual. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 12” and features erect hairy stems, oval leaves, and 2” trumpet-shaped violet flowers. This plant be grown in a container or hanging basket, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, repels aphids, bean beetles, leaf hoppers, and tomato hornworms, self sows, and is great as a cut flower!
Tomato: Amana Orange (Heirloom) (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
Tomato: Arkansas Traveler (Heirloom) (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
The Arkansas Traveler is an open-pollinated heirloom variety of tomato that was bred by the University of Arkansas in 1968. The plant is indeterminate with round red fruits weighing approximately 6-8 ounces